Media titan Rupert Murdoch overruled his son and likely heir in the decision to back out of the BSkyB deal as a family drama unfolded behind the scenes, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Murdoch dramatically dropped his bid for control of the pay-TV giant British Sky Broadcasting, bowing to pressure from the British government over the phone-hacking firestorm at his newspaper empire.
Just hours before Britain's political parties backed a parliamentary motion urging Murdoch to abandon his long-cherished takeover, his News Corp conceded it was now "too difficult to progress in this climate".
The Times cited people close to the discussions as saying that Murdoch's son James had pressed for seeking regulatory approval of the deal.
But Murdoch and News Corp's chief operating officer Chase Carey overruled him and only consulted him when their decision was all but final, the report said.
According to one insider, Rupert Murdoch still holds out hope that the deal could be concluded once public anger over the phone-hacking scandal at his recently shuttered News of the World dies down, the Times reported.
"Rupert is thinking long term here, I don't think he believes this deal is dead," it quoted a source as saying.
"He's just looking for ways to relieve pressure for the moment, to give this some breathing room. He fundamentally believes News Corp can bounce back."
After decades as Britain's political kingmaker, Murdoch has seen his empire threatened by a wave of outrage over journalists' hacking of voicemails.
Those targeted include that of a murdered girl and those belonging to the families of dead troops.